|Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar - mystery book review|
Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar
This is the first book in the Cora Flash mystery series.
Eleven-year-old Cora Flash is on the train headed for Topaz Mountain to spend time with her uncle. Although it's an over night trip, she's travelling as an unaccompanied minor and feels perfectly safe. After all, what can happen on a train? Much like the traditional English cozy, she meets a full cast of characters, all traveling in the same direction. Being stuck on the train forces them to share meals and conversation. Then, a third of the way through the story comes the mysterious disappearance of the priceless Diamond of Madagascar. Each traveler becomes a suspect, but which one of them took the valuable gemstone? And how? More important, where is it now?
While I really like the idea a kid's cozy mystery, and kids will love the clever outcome of Cora's detective skills, I wish there could have been more kids and fewer adults in the story. Cora is the only real kid the reader gets to know. The story is set in modern times, but carries the flavor an older time period. Advanced readers will probably be charmed by the mystery.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Grades 5-7
MYSTERY/SUSPENCE: Clever premise
KID APPEAL: Higher level readers